Iraq’s US dictated constitution – divisive, sectarian and no right to strike

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THE attempt by the US to foist its version of a ‘constitution’ onto Iraq, in alliance with a section of the Shi’ite clergy and the traditional Kurdish leadership, is now bursting apart at the seams.

Central to this constitution is an attempt to split Iraq and Iraqis into sectarian areas and groups, Kurd, Shia and Sunni, using federalism as a weapon.

As befits such an alliance, the new US inspired constitution also discriminates against women, and refuse to recognise the right to strike.

In fact, British trade unions are currently protesting about a decree by the Iraqi puppet government allowing it to seize all of the finances of the Iraqi trade unions, reducing the whole trade union movement to the status of being a puppet of a puppet.

The Kurds have had their autonomy since 1991, under the protection of the US and the UK which at the same time were trying to starve Iraq into capitulation through the barbaric regime of UN sanctions, killing some 1.5 million Iraqis between 1991 and March 18 2003.

However, the part of Iraq that was free of imperialist control, although hit hard by the sanctions, was never divided up into sectarian areas or split by sectarian rivalries between Sunnis and Shias.

Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was a secular state, in which religion was not an issue. There were Christians, Shi’ites, Sunnis and Kurds in the government, as well as women.

Religion was a matter that was kept to the mosque, church or synagogue. Mullahs could not dictate to society what it must wear, say, drink or do.

Millions of Iraqis are opposed to the puppet constitution which seeks to lay the sectarian fault lines for splitting Iraq into three.

The fighting taking place between the supporters of Moqtada al Sadr and the Badr Brigade, the military wing of the SCIRI (The Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq), proves that point.

Al Sadr has led his movement, made up of the poorest Shi’ites and the Shi’ite working class, which is millions strong, in two uprisings against the US -UK occupiers.

The Badr Brigade has never fired a shot against the occupiers, while SCIRI has been at the centre of the various puppet regimes that the US occupation has spawned.

Both have kept southern Iraq as quiet as they could for the US around Najaf and Karbala, and for the British around Basra, since their leaders returned from as much as 20 years of exile in Iran. Their reaction to the growing insurgency against the occupation has been to insist that US and British troops must stay in Iraq, and then to turn towards sectarianism and the development of a separate state in the south of Iraq, matching the Kurdish entity in the north.

Sadr supports the struggle against the occupation, and is opposed to any move to split Iraq into three and to have a southern entity that gravitates towards Iran.

This is what the struggle within the Shi’ite movement is about.

The real issue is that all Iraqis – Kurds, Shi’ites, Sunnis, Christians, Turkomen and Assyrians – must unite to throw out the occupiers and maintain the unity of Iraq to go forward to a workers and small farmers government that will bring in socialist measures.